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My Panacea

Chapter Text

In the midst of the snowy mountains, there is a small town. It is filled with the breeze of majesty, and magic. The supernatural slumbers beneath every rock, behind every corner and deep within the confides of the valley. The people here are different in every way, yet somehow, manage to stay the same. After many years of mayhem and resuscitation, there has been vast revitalization within the town itself. Many have calmed to the animosity that sits on the towns shoulders. Allowing normality to settle in and take over the previous calamity that showered the valley in chaos and ruin. 

Normal seemed to be the new way of life, and yet..

Somethings, otherworldly, still remain. Deeply rooted to the soil of it’s predecessor. 

You should all know already

This is not just about the ones that live in the town, but the ones whose eyes sparkled to new light, in tremendous waves of disorder; the children. They are now growing, surpassing the extreme detrimental aura of the previous way of life. This is about the youngsters, and the lives they live now, in normality. 

However, there is not exactly normal that resinates through this snowy mountain town. The boys who have witness, life and death. Now grow in its wake into a new coming of age. Their adolescence minds compiling with school, and home life; unaware. 

Their lives will change. Others more than most. 

The names you know all too well-

Leopold Stotch and Kenneth McCormick

Their story of intensive nature awaits you. 

Whatever you see, whatever you hear.

Keep your head about you. 

There is always another, who waits for you in the dark. 

Searching is the hardest part 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

Kenny awoke with a start, his body lain below 3 blankets of snow. Sitting up like a stiffened corpse, he looked around at the snowy land he seemed to have emerged in.

Stark’s Pond

His eyes glanced around at the winter snow falling gracefully around the frozen water, it reminded him of the tears of angels. Looking up into the cold, frozen air, he felt small flecks of snowflakes land on his eyelashes and cheeks.

The winter world is beautiful
It’s just not amazing to wake up in to, like this.

Prying himself from the blanket of snow he was so haphazardly laying in, he shook off the excess white puffs. Grabbing his hood, from around his shoulders, and tightening it around his face he tried to rewarm his body to an appropriate temperature. He walked aimlessly for a bit, as his mind roused to reality.

Wondering through the cold climate around Stark’s Pond, made his body awaken in that strange way it always seemed to do. He knew he had a certain amount of time before he would freeze to death, and believe him, it is not painless.

He quickened his pace with the icy winds stabbing his nose and eyes. Every breathe was like a frozen fire in his lungs, holding his right hand to his upper left arm, allowed some warmth, as he sighed into the snowy world.

As he walked, his feet soon stop at the edge of the pond. Breathing heavily with the realism of life shrouding over into his brain, he closed his eyes to the world. A headache thundered in his brain like a hurricane.

There is no time for this
You have to keep going, Go

Kenny slammed his fist into his face angrily as he screamed at the ice in hatred. The blood that spurted from his nose ran thick heat down his frozen face, dropping its crimson stains into the pure snow below his feet.

SHUT UP!” He screamed to the cold air as his body shivered at the freezing blood now sticking to his face and parka. He fell forward on all fours as he let heavy tears run from his eyes.

“Just shut up, just let me.. die..” Quietly, he whispered to that voice in hopes that maybe today it would listen.

It didn’t.

You need to find warmth, keep going
For you, for your friends, For Karen
Get up, Kenny
Get up

Karen..” He closed his eyes against his arms as his mind showed vivid memories of her and he sighed heavily. He got up slowly from his position, fighting that familiar feeling of rigor mortis, for warmth. Groaning in pain, from the aches that emerge in his bones. He clenched his teeth as he wondered his way to his home; having nowhere else to turn to.

His mind kept turning in thought; trying to comprehend what it is about himself, that made him like this…

You simply are, what you are

“God, I really wish you would shut the hell up sometimes, dude.” Kenny growled through clenched teeth. He sighed into the cold, leaving the fog of his breath to the breeze. He walked onwards towards home, one foot in front of the other, as his path was lost to the new snow that fell.

Until his feet were planted on the front doormat, he dared not walk inside, worrying at what he could walk into. What a travesty of not being seen or missed. He shook his head in frustration and thought it was better not to linger on the things he already knows are facts. He wasn’t worrying about his parents sitting on the couch. They always ignored their children anyway, because they were normally coked out of their minds.

Except this time, of course, when you're not in the right frame of mind, something big decides to happen.

“KENNY YOU CLEAN UP THIS GOHDDAMN SHIT SNOW AND BLOOD RIGHT NOW!” His mom screeched like an owl capturing a rat. He didn’t respond as he simply looked at her narrowly in disgust, and watched as she shrank away. He ignored his fathers look of distaste as he wondered to his room. Closing the door behind him, he tried to stripped himself of his standard parka and was met with extreme pain as he ripped it from his dried blooded cold face. He groaned in annoyance, and ended up in nothing but his boxers. Shivering at the wetness he hadn’t known reached him through his clothes. Opening his closet he rummaged inside for a somewhat "clean" towel, that's he's possibly used five times before.

Grabbing his wet parka from his bed and the towel hung over one shoulder he walked out into the hall to the bathroom. Setting everything down, he proceeded to look at himself in the mirror--disgusted with what he saw looking back at him.

Looking at himself, in the rarity when he did, always made him sick to his stomach. The faded scars that littered his skin everywhere were blotched, welted, and he believed seemed to mark his body in repulsion. Not to mention the extreme lack of body mass, seeing as how he was extremely skinny. Just as well, the dried brownness of blood that fell down his nose and mouth, only added further disgust to what he already was seeing. He hated the way the marks covered his skin, from bullet holes, to surgery scars, to plain out mutilation. Feeling the fresh scar that was slightly pinking on his upper left arm he rolled his eyes in anger.

Turning his back to the mirror, looking at the way his muscles moved as he flexed to see the scars that covered his back there as well. He hated that his teenage mind thought some of them looked cool, and yet, despise that no one could see what he did.

The times when he came back after, however long he was gone, he would try to ask his friends what they had did in his absence, but they would never remember him having been gone. They weren’t able to see the scars, or see the nonexistence of him at all. He hated it, because it infuriated him to no end. No one seemed to care he was missing, he was dead, or he was gone for months on end.

No one.. except-

There was a loud pounding on the bathroom door, and Kenny quickly snapped his head to it. Walking over he was barely able to open in before there was a small body that barreled into him from the other side. He practically fell over before he was able to catch himself and the smaller body on the edge of the sink, lowering them to the bathroom floor.

“You were gone for three weeks this time! How could you?!” The little one pounded on his chest as she cried out in tears. “You are never gone that long!” He sighed as he hugged his sister, Karen, tightly to him. Gently petting her hair as she cried and snotted into his bare chest.

Ew
Thank God I’m showering soon.

“I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry, Karen.” He said soothingly as he could, trying his best to calm his little sisters distress. It made his heart hurt seeing her like this; every time. It was a never ending cycle. When he comes back, she is heart broken, just like this.

Maybe it’s better no one knows, then
Jesus

He reframed from shedding any tears as she began to calm down, and soon she sighed and sat up away from him. Shock instantly covered her face as she saw the dried blood.

“What happened?!” She panicked as she reached to touched his face, but he stopped her before she could.

“I fell in the snow and landed on a rock; I couldn’t see.” Kenny breathed, shrugging his shoulders.

LIE

She sighed, again, as she took that as an acceptable answer and then asked, “Where is it?” Curiosity cutting through her sadness, as she wiped her tears away with the back of her hands. Having seen Kenny’s body covered in scars, pretty much all her life, has made her numb to the amount that developed.

Which made Kenny feel very sad.

“You don’t need to see it, Karen. I’m here now. I’m fine. Let’s just move on, like we always do.” He sighed exasperated.

“Nah-uh. You don’t get to tell me that! I deserve to see it! I’m the only one who can! So.. please, Kenny, just show me.” Karen, gave a shaky sigh as she saw the new scar that hand emerged by her brothers arm. It was a long vertical scar that went from his shoulder down to his elbow, probably horrific before but now it was a slight pink, in comparison to all the rest of his scars. Every time he came back, the freshest scar would always look like a freshly healed welt. She cried a little as she lightly placed her fingers to it. “What was it this time?” She asked, sadness hardly mistaken in her tone.

“It was..” Kenny looked away in contempt, “It was an assault. Someone tried to get away with something and I stopped him, he stabbed me in the arm. I bled out in the snow.” Kenny shrugged as he looked back to his little sister in sorrow, clasping her hands in his. “I’m so sorry I was gone so long this time, Karen. You know I have no control over, whatever this is. I wish I did. Because, then I could just-“

“You would get rid of it, I know.” She sighed in frustration. “Just..” She contemplated for a moment, then looking back to her brother as she smile sweetly. “I’m glad you helped someone in need, just remember, you are someone that needs help too, sometimes. And I am here, and I love you. So..” She trailed off as she seemed to see something in the distance, and then snapping back to reality she sighed and continued. “So, remember that just because you can’t die, doesn't mean you deserve to. I miss you so much, every time.”

Guilt

Kenny seemed taken aback and felt the guilt hit him like a ton of bricks as he sighed. Grabbing his sister in a big hug as she laughed.

“When did you get so grown up, and I’ll try my best; I love you too.” Kenny smiled at her as they got up from the floor. She smiled and kissed him on the cheek as she walked out towards the hall, closing the door behind her.

“I know, big brother.”

Kenny sighed heavily as he gripped the edge of the sink till his knuckles turned white. He tried to control his breathing as he hadn't known he was holding it. In through his nose and out through his mouth. He did this a couple of times before his body began to calm down and gain normality. After having composed himself enough he gridded his teeth in anger as his emotions began to switch around in his body. He hated this. The person he loves the most is the one he hurts the most; Every. Time.

He sighed, as he cussed under his breathe and hopped in the shower. After washing several parts of his body with a cheap two in one shampoo from the dollar store, he grabbed his parka and began washing it in the shower with him; to get the blood out. When he was done with his parka, he placed it outside the the shower, and continued washing the rest of his body. When he was officially done, he wrapped the towel around his waist, rang out his parka as much as he could, then proceeded to his room.

Towel drying off, and placing on a fresh pair of boxers; he brought out a cheap old blow dryer. It was barely held together with duck tape, as he began to dry his “freshly washed,” parka by hand. After almost half an hour his parka was dry and warm enough to put back on. Which he did.

You have school tomorrow

Kenny growled, “I know, so shut up.. Annoying ass.” He laid on his mattress grumbling as he gently sighed into the aura of his house. Kenny looked to see his old beat down alarm clock reading ten fifty-five. He groaned as he turned over in his bed, annoyed that his body still felt like it was buried beneath all that snow.

There was nothing more he wanted right now than sleep, but his mind was refusing. He sighed heavily again as he turned to lay on his back. Staring up at his ceiling that held the glowing plastic stars, him and his sister put up a long time ago when she was still a child.

The cold was creeping up his legs, leaving goosebumps was beginning to get to be to much for him, as he got up and looked at the blanket at the foot of his bed. He contemplated for a minute, and decided it would be better just to put on some bottoms. In his closet he looked for some kind of ‘clean,’ pajamas bottoms to wear. He found an old pair of spider-man, pj bottoms, from when he was ten years old. Laughing to himself as he put them on, and was surprised that they fit. They were snug and rather warm, but extremely short, they looked like skinny capris but.. fuck it.

He laughed and flopped back on his mattress, hitting his butt on the floor, which caused him to yelp in pain.

Groaning as he flipped over and rubbed his bottom.

“Kenny, are you okay?!” His sister Karen barged in, seeing her brother in a face down ass up position with his tiny spider-man pajamas on, made her crack a smile from ear to ear.

Kenny quickly shot up in his bed, and rolled his eyes. “How many times have I told you to knock, Karen.” He said sternly, running a hand through his hair.

“Oh. Like a hundred.. but,” She smiled, holding her hand over her lips as if a secret dared to escape, “What’s all this? Butt in the air, spider-man pjs.. hot date?” She laughed as Kenny rolled his eyes and threw his only pillow at her.

“Fuck, off! You know I don’t have any pjs that fit me.” He groaned as he flopped on his back. “Plus, I’m growing like, everyday. I swear I’m taller every time I come back.” He closed his eyes and yawned.

“Well.. maybe you’re right, maybe you are growing. Or… or maybe you still, just, dig spider-man?” She put her hands up in a shrug and laughed again as Kenny lifted one eyelid, frowned, and stuck out his tongue. “You know, boys don’t stop growing till their, twenty-one? Or twenty-four?” She rubbed her chin as she thought about it, both siblings shrugged at the same time, and Karen bent over to pick up her brothers pillow.

Walking over she let the pillow fall from her hands onto her brothers face, and flopped down next to him on the mattress.

“OW! Is this why you were in that position? This thing is just feathers and floor! Might as well, sleep on the dang carpet, bro.” She groaned as she leaned over and gently rubbed her own butt.

Kenny chuckled, “Right? The only ‘hot dates’ I get are ducks, man.” He said sarcastically. They both laughed, and Karen laid next to her brother and yawned. He smiled and kissed her forehead, giving her back his only pillow, as he laid on his arm. “You know you’re getting to old to sleep next to me, anymore.”

Karen pouted, and pushed her brother roughly on the forehead. “Yeah, well I’m not the one wearing the spider-man pjs, sir.”

“Oh. My. God. Karen.” Kenny groaned, and laughed as he rolled over on his back and covered his face to stifle a yawn. “Whatever, go to sleep, and here.” He sat up and grabbed the thin blanket he had stashed at the foot of the bed, and covered his sister.

“Thank you, I always wondered what it would be like to sleep under the comfort of a Brillo pad.” She jokingly laughed and snuggled into the blanket, receiving another groan and rolling of eyes from her brother.

“Little brat.” Kenny laughed and laid back down, closing his eyes to the quiet of the world.

“I love you too, big brother.”

“Yeah, yeah. Me too, brat.”

Kenny smiled as he blissfully drifted off to sleep.

Chapter Text

Butters was sprinting down the long stretch of hall of his school. His books in hand, backpack secured over his shoulders, as he made his way to his first period. The bell had rung several minutes ago, and many students were scurrying towards different doors on either side of his small frame. 

He, unfortunately, needed to keep running down the long hall to his class.

This was due to the fact that his mother dropped him off at the front of the school; Which was almost ten minutes away from his first period. No matter how many times he’s told her that his class was by the back of the school, she’d always dropped him off at the front. 

This infuriated Butters beyond belief, because his mother never listens. However, his father was not any better. Seeing as how he got grounded the other day for a crack in a coffee cup. He never uses his dads cups, because he doesn’t drink coffee, and knows the consequences. His parents always seem to either ignore their son or find the minuscule flaws in him. 

This has made Butters have such a lack of confidence that to others he would seem a little withdrawn and shy. Sometimes, all Butters could do to hide from his parents.. was to come to school. 

Why had she dropped him off today, anyways? It’s not like he couldn’t walk himself to school. He wasn’t a child anymore, he was almost eighteen, that’s not technically a child in the standard eyes of the law. 

He panted, as his body warmed to the exercise it so sadly lacked. He wanted to be in class already, he wanted to be sitting, he disliked all those eyes on him. Those snickers of laughter and giggles they all made.

He tried to catch his breath as he reached the outside of his classroom. Slowly breathing in through his nose and out through his mouth as he leaned a hand on the door for balance. Specks of colors were splattering in front of his eyes as he tried to control his breath, he felt light headed and dizzy. 

“What the hell you doing, Butters?” 

Butters turned his head in alarm to see a grotesque and quite obese, Eric Cartman, staring at him. He felt his body shutter at the sight of Eric, being the one worst person out of everyone in the whole school. Cartman made a noise in between a snort and a growl, which made Butters back up a bit. The beast seemed to notice his small movement and smirked as he stepped forward in a menacing way. 

“What, Butters? You afraid of me?” Cartman started laughing smugly.

As his laughter bellowed out into the now empty hall. Butters said nothing as he stared at this meaty man in anger. He didn't have the wits on how to fight, nor did he have the strength, but if he could punch Eric right now, he totally would. Had it not been for the fact that he didn’t want to get in any trouble or into a fight he would lose. 

However, luck was on Butters side today. As Eric’s laughter grew, it alerted their first period teacher in response. 

She took long strides as she gently opened the door to find Eric Cartman laughing and looking at something with malice. Narrowing her eyes at the younger man seeing as he jumped back guiltily when he caught her gaze. 

“Why are you this late, Mr. Cartman?” She asked folding her arms over her chest, and tapping a foot questionably. 

“Ay! It’s not my fault I’m late!” Cartman yelled back. Mrs. Choise raised an eyebrow in response.

“Oh? Then whose is it?” Cartmans meaty hand reached behind the door that she had just opened and grab a petite blonde boy. 

“Get mad at Butters not me! He made me late cause he was about to pass out, or something, and I was helping him!” The older boy gripped the younger tighter as he spoke, causing a flinch to flash on Butters face.

Mrs. Choise, rolled her eyes in disbelief, there was absolutely no way Eric Cartman was helping anyone, but himself. 

“Let go of Mr. Stotch and come inside. You’ve delayed the class long enough with your lies.” She hissed as she turned around and walked to the front.

“AY! Screw you, I’m not lying!” Cartman yelled storming into the class room like a dangerous bull that’s enter the arena. 

This allowed Butters to scurry behind his larger body, hiding, as he made his way to his seat. He knew Cartman loved to make a scene, and he was grateful for that, now no one would pay attention to him. He sat in his seat towards the back, next to his friend Kyle.

“Looks like someones earned themselves after school detention today, Mr. Cartman.” Mrs. Choise huffed as she folded her arms. 

“AY, WHAT THE FACK! I didn’t do anything you stupid bitch!” Cartman screamed from his seat he had just squashed with a squeak. 

“Oh no, now it looks like you have two days of after school detention.” She said holding up two fingers in the yelling boys directions. 

“WHAT. THE. FACK!” Cartman practically overturned his whole desk yelling and throwing a fit like a child.

“Care to make it a whole week? I can do that for you, Mr. Cartman.” Mrs. Choise smiled at the huffing boy sweetly, as he began deflating in defeat. The whole class was oohing and laughing at Eric’s loss. 

Meanwhile, Butters was trying to get all of his papers and pens together to began the lecture. He could hear Cartman mumbling profanities under his breath, and although he was trying to ignore what he could vaguely hear.. he knew most of it was directed at him. Which put him very much on edge for the entirety of the class. 

Trying his best to pay attention to the lecture, as he could feel Cartmans eyes on him for most of it, he watched as the teacher went through some review. Although the lecture was, somewhat, interesting he found himself quietly doodling on his notebook for the rest of the period. When the bell finally rang he packed everything quickly so he could escape unscathed from Eric. 

“Stotch, Broflovski, could I speak with you both after class?”

Though, his plan seemed to be foiled. 

He quietly stood still as he watched Cartman leave the room with his eyes glued on Butters the entire time. When he was finally out of eye sight, Butters let out a breath of air that he hadn’t known he was holding.

“Jesus, dude. Cartman is such a dick.” Butters turned to Kyle, as he too, was ask to stay behind. 

“Yeah, I was just trying to c-catch my breath after running to c-class. I-I didn’t mean to make him late. O-oh J-eez.” Butters sighed, exhausted, bumping his knuckles together.

“Mom drop you off at the front again?” Kyle asked as they both started walking to the front of the classroom. Butters groaned as he nodded. “Why didn’t you just walk?”

“I t-tried to! But she w-wouldn’t-“

“Awh! Stotch, Broflovski, my two favorites.” Mrs. Choise smiled warmly at the two boys, “I have something that might interested you two. Though, you could say no if you want. This is not a forced assignment, but it would give you some great college credit at the end of the year. If, you’re interested?” 

She handed the boys a packet full of many pages, paragraphs and sentences that just looking at it made Butters anxious. Kyle on the other hand seemed thrilled to the brim in excitement. 

Noticing the difference in attitudes the boys had, Mrs. Choise laughed as she looked at Butters. “Remember, its not mandatory, it’s a choice. You don’t have to do it if you don't want to, Mr. Stotch.” Butters couldn’t help but blush realizing that he was gapping at the huge packet in his hands.

“Wow! Thank you, Mrs. Choise! Why pick us, though?” Kyle asked, wondering why they were singled out of a group of twenty plus students.

“You both have such great potential in you. I see it in your words when you hand in your essays. Also, I’m not sure if you both remember, but at the beginning of the semester, I had everyone write on those introductory sheets for me to read? Well, there was a random question on there for anyone who would like college credit, but I put it in layman terms and made it sound like more work than expected. Because of that, you two were the only ones who check yes, to the box.” She chuckled as she rested her head in her palm. 

Kids had started to file into the classroom now, which made Butters rather nervous. Kyle on the other hand was buzzing with energy. 

“Here, I’ve written you both hall, slash, late passes, so your second period teacher doesn’t get mad at either of you.” She smiled as she waved both boys away, and turned to her class. As they were walking out she called out to Butters, “And, please, Mr. Stotch, avoid being late, again.” Butters blushed as he nodded and hurried after Kyle. 

~~~~~~

“Dude can you believe it!” Kyle said excitedly. “College Cred is huge, man. I’m excited to do it. It won’t only make my GPA look like I’m a genius but college credit from this class will make me look like Einstein!” He happily chuckled to himself. 

Butters on the other hand was not so thrilled, and still unsure if he wanted to do the assignment or not. His brain was flip-flopping with the idea and of all the added stress that, that huge packet might bring. On top of the classes he has now, and home life.. he groaned quietly in exasperation. 

“Awh dude, sorry. I didn’t mean to chat your ear off. So what happened with your mom?” Kyle asked, his eyebrows knitting together in worry. He knew all about Butters home life, and although Stan was his best friend, he thought that he might actually be Butters only close friend, and knew the most about him.

“It’s a-alright, but s-shucks. She kinda ignored me all m-morning till I told her b-bye. Then she got up and b-barely looked at me from her phone. She just said, “I-I’m driving you t-today, B-butters.” and when I tried to t-tell her “N-no, I’m okay M-mom,” she ignored me, like u-usual, wound up l-leaving late, d-didn’t speak to me on the ride, and then she d-dropped me off at the front a-again.” Butters groaned in annoyance. 

Kyle put a comforting had on Butters shoulder as he spoke, “Awh, that sucks man, I wish my mom would ignore me sometimes.” Kyle shrugged, seeing as it didn’t really help, he continued, “I can’t even imagine Butters, I’m sorry it’s like that for you. Maybe, you know, just try to talk to her, again? Tell her that you don’t need a ride? Or maybe just tell her you’re gonna get rides with someone else from now on. Or walk? Like, walk with someone else so she doesn’t worry? I mean, I take her driving you to school as a kind of worry, don’t you?” Kyle asked puzzlingly. Butters shook his head. 

“I-I’m not so sure about that. I think she just takes it as an o-obligation, and chore as apposed to my safety. Or s-she just doesn’t pay attention to me and t-thinks I’m still a c-child.” Butters blew air out of his mouth slowly. Kyle sighed, and shrugged. 

“I don’t know man, but either way. You should try and talk to her again. I think that’s your best bet. But,” Kyle took his phone out of his pocket as he gasped in shock, “we got to get to our second period! I know we have a pass and all but.. I don’t like to be late, regardless.” Butters laughed at his friend and nodded, they waved bye to each other and walked in different directions. 

He found himself speed walking to his next class as he heard the bell ring, and though he had a pass, he didn’t like to be late, either. Butters quickened his pace as he walked across the campus that was empty. The bell had rung right before Kyle and Butters separated. 

Thankfully though, the next class he had was piano, and he enjoyed that class with some of his friends.

Chapter Text

Butters walked into the piano room and plopped down in his seat behind his keyboard. Several students were scattered around the room chatting and talking idly. Class seemed to be put on hold as the teacher was busy in his office, exasperatingly talking to a student. Deeming his hall pass completely void of necessity. 

Butters couldn't get a good view of the student so he ignored their conversation. He gently set his backpack to the side, and then pulled out a notebook with several pages of, “Intro to Piano for Beginners.” He flipped open to the last thing he remembered and began fiddling with his keys. He played the intro to a rather slow song, and gently hummed along.

“Hey Butters, how goes it?” Hearing his name took him out of the moment and made him jump. “Whoa, dude. I didn’t mean to scare you.” Token laughed, as he pulled a blue chair from somewhere in the back and placed it next to Butters keyboard. Sitting in it backwards, Token propped his arm up, head rested in his hand, as he grinned at Butters happily. “So, what song was that you were playing?” 

“It’s called, ‘Truman Sleeps.” I’ve been p-practicing it. I think it’s the o-one I want to p-preform for the f-final.” Butters shuddered as he thought of having to go up in front of a big crowd of people. 

“Really? Are you going to sing? I heard you humming, sounded pretty good!” 

He blushed at the compliment, and shook his head, “N-no, it doesn’t have any words, I was just h-humming along because I really l-like the melody. I’m torn between this s-song, or Moonlight Sonata..” Butters groaned, “I don’t know, man. It’s still so f-far away but I’m s-sure it will sneak u-up on me i-if I don’t pick something s-soon!” Token nodded in agreement.

“Yeah I know, dude. I’m thinking I’m gonna have to go with “The Peanuts” man. We learned it at the beginning of the semester, and it was hard, but I’m sure I got it down now. Want to hear?” Butters nodded as he traded places with Token, and let him take over. Token completely nailed the song as Butters stared, mouth gaping open wide, in awe as he couldn’t believe his ears. The whole thing was spot on.

“Token! T-that’s amazing!” Token laughed, and shook his head.

“Nah. I still need work, and I’m not to confident with the second measure. But, I’m okay with it.” He said with a shrug. Going back to their original places, Butters stared at his keyboard in awe. Seeing as how beautiful melodies were played on it, yet, he couldn’t play anything nearly as extraordinary.

“You know, I think you should play something with words in it. Just hearing you hum, seemed like you might be a pretty good singer!” Token grinned, and put his hands up in defense when he saw Butters give him a heavily worried look. “I’m just throwing it out there, play what you feel comfortable with. Just make sure you can figure it out, you have to tell Mr. Gee which song you choose.” 

Butters nodded in agreement, “Yeah, I know, but having to p-pick one song, out of trillions of s-songs, is so haaard!” He groaned. Token chuckled and got up out of his seat. 

“Well, it looks like Mr. Gee is pretty much done chewing Clyde out, so I’m going to go back to my seat.” 

Butters turned his head back to the teachers office as he made out the brown hair of his friend Clyde, who was now standing in viewpoint. Wondering briefly what Clyde did to get a serious lecture from the teacher, seeing as Mr. Gee was extremely laid back. 

Giving a small wave to Token, he watched as the teacher herded Clyde out of his office in a huff, and started the session. 

Clyde sat in his seat angrily and stared out the window, refusing to participate or listen to the rest of the class. 

Butters tried to pay attention to the class, but it still tugged on his mind constantly about the final, the packet that was shoved haphazardly in his backpack, his father, mother, and what Cartman could be planning. Everything was weighing on his mind so heavily that his attention span was almost nonexistent for the rest of his class. 

When the lesson was done, he gathered all his things and waited for everyone else to pack up and leave before he got up from his seat. As he walked towards the door he saw that his friends, Clyde and Token, were already there waiting for him. He smiled, as he thought it was a kind gesture, but his smile quickly faded. 

Stopping his feet a few steps away from them as he stood taken aback at the heated argument they seemed to be immersed in.

“I don’t understand why you won’t just do it? I’m gonna do it… Tweek Tweak is gonna do it, Clyde! Get your head out of your ass, man.” Token was angrily stating as he squeezed his eyes shut and pinched the bridge of his nose. 

“Fuck that. This class is a joke. I’m not going to get up in front of shitty people I don’t know, or care about, because I need to do this “final,” in order to pass this stupid class.” Clyde spat back in anger. 

“Clyde, you are willing to FAIL this class and NOT graduate, because what? Because you, “don’t want to get up in front of people?” You, “think its a joke?” Are you that dense? You have to pass to graduate man!”

“I’M.NOT.FUCKING.DOING.IT.” Clyde aggressively said through clenched teeth, and rubbed his temples with one hand. “You wouldn’t understand, Token. So just..” Clyde looked back at Token as he rolled his eyes and shook his head, “just fuck off, dude.” He turned and walked away leaving his friend to stare on in shock at his back. 

Butters clear his throat gently as he caught Token’s attention. Seeing the hurt that was plastered on his friends face. 

“Oh. Hey, Butters. I didn’t notice you were there. Heard everything, right?” Token sighed and shook his head in disappointment. 

“Y-yeah. I didn’t m-mean too.”

“It’s cool.” Token shrugged. “We- I was waiting for you. Clyde seemed to want to run out of here as fast as he could.” Token groaned. “I don’t know what’s up with him Butters, he won’t talk to me. He won’t talk to anyone. I know there is something wrong, I can feel it, ya know?”

Butters thought for a moment, and then nodded, as he could understand being that close to someone might make you feel that way. His curiosity lingered in the air above both their heads, before he finally had the gull to ask. 

“W-what h-happened? Why was he so a-angry, is that why he got in t-trouble with Mr. Gee?”

Token moved his head in a way that indicated for them to start heading out of the classroom and to their next period. Moving out into the sunshine of the campus caused Butters eyes to try and adjust, as he squinted into the world before it was made clear. 

“Nah. The reason he got into “trouble” was because he down right refused to do the final. Which, what was he expecting? You’re just NOT going to do the most important part of the grade? You’re just NOT going to even try? And the shitty thing is, he didn’t even give Mr. Gee a reason. He didn’t even give me a valid reason! He just told him that he won’t do it, there is no reason for him to do it. He might even try to get a different class, but how? We’ve already been in this class a month or so? How is he going to catch up in time? I just don’t understand what he’s thinking!” 

Butters caught on to the aggression; Token seemed to be really worried about his friend. He seemed to care for him a lot. He didn’t want to see him fail, which was very understandable. 

Butters sighed, “D-did you try and ask him what is m-making him not w-want to do it? There m-might be a reason. A b-bigger reason. Someone j-just does not w-want to graduate, there but be something m-major h-holding him b-back. I don’t know though, I’m not as c-close to him as you a-are.”

“I tried, Butters. He just doesn’t want to talk about it, or he’s just hiding his true feelings. I don’t want to see him fail, man. He’s my best friend, I care about him, ya know? It’s just.. what can I do, if he’s not even willing to try?”

“The o-only thing you c-can do is keep b-being his f-friend, T-token. S-stay by him; I think that’s b-best, right n-now. M-maybe, when he’s ready, he’ll t-tell you. There m-might be a deeper meaning there, t-than just his outright defiance on not d-doing the final. So d-don’t stop b-being his friend, d-don’t give up o-on him. Maybe w-when he is m-mentally prepared to tell y-you, he will. Just keep f-fighting and by t-that time, h-hopefully it’s not to late to s-save his g-grade, or h-him from graduating.”

Token sighed, and hung his head, but soon he shook it off and smiled at Butters. “Thanks, dude. You’re a good friend, and you’re right. I just need to stick by him, and when he’s ready, he’ll tell me. And that’s okay, cause I can wait. What are best friends for, if not to be like your family and to lean on? He’s like my brother. I just have to be patient, and by his side… Really Butters.” Token looked at Butters as they halted their steps. “Thank you, I won’t forget this. You’re a good friend.” Token extended his hand as he took Butters in his and shook it. He waved goodbye as he headed off in the opposite direction. 

Butters smiled to himself, as he felt a very soft warmth grow in his chest. He was just trying to be a friend, and it looked he succeeded. With a bright feeling inside him he made his way to his next period. 

Chapter Text

Butters felt like his calculus class dragged on forever as his poor stomach seemed to be clawing his insides with hunger. When the class was finally over he practically ran to the lunch line, texting Kyle along the way to see if they were meeting up at the usual table. 

He sat down at the table before anyone else and gingerly started eating his cardboard pizza and jicama sticks, along with drinking his chocolate milk. He was nearly done before he caught sight of Kyle and smiled, waving happily. 

“Hey dude!” Kyle said with a warm grin.

“H-hey, Kyle.” Butters happily laughed as he saw Kyle’s surprised face to see his mostly empty food try. 

“Whoa, man!” The ginger boy said, as he sat down next to Butters. “Did you even eat breakfast? I didn’t know you could eat that fast.” Kyle laughed, as he began to pluck at his food.

“I-I was just h-hungry is all, but I’m full now, if you w-want the rest?” 

Kyle shook his head, “Nah, but I’m sure fat ass will take it off your hands.” 

Butters made a face, as he thought about what happened in first period. Kyle noticed and felt sympathetic towards the petite blonde boy. 

“Here dude, I’ll just throw it away for you. Don’t worry about fat ass. He’s grown out of that destructive nature.” Kyle got up and took Butters tray. “At least, I hope he has..” Kyle whispered as he threw the mostly empty containers away. 

Sitting back down he saw that Butters had taken out his packet and was flipping through it. He chuckled under his breath as he saw the stress cloud his friends face, and began to nibble on his food. 

Butters couldn't keep his eyes from glossing over as he flipped through the packet he got from his first period. Shifting through the pages as his mind raced with the possible future stress lingered over him like a cloud getting ready for a storm. He groaned as he flopped over on the lunch table, hitting his forehead to the hard wood. 

Kyle sympathetically laughed as he patted Butters on the back, “Remember you don’t have to do it, man.” Butters sighed and nodded against the ridged wood.

“Yo, what’s wrong with Butters?” 

Butters looked up to see his friend Stan placing a cup of pudding and small juice on the table in front of Kyle, looking concerned. 

“Nothing really, he’s just stressed about this package we got from our first period teacher.” Kyle said softly, as he smiled at Butters.

There was a thunderous noise, like heavy footsteps padded on linoleum. A loud heavy breath and then, “WHO THAT BITCH, MRS.CHOISE?!” The screech came from an angry, bull-looking Cartman. “She’s a bitch that wants my hog.” Cartman snorted pounding his food down on the table and grunting as he began to devour it.

“Cartman, you eat like a hog. Eat like a normal fucking person, fat ass!” Kyle yelled at the colossal man in anger.

“Shut up, Kyahl I’m not fat, I’m big boned! Don’t be jealous!” Cartman snapped back.

“Jealous of what?! Oh. My. God. Fat. Boy. You can’t keep blaming your bones. You’re bones are probably screaming for help! They’ve probably separated, and the fat and lard is the only thing holding you together! You’re like the dough boy. You're all goo!” Kyle huffed matter-of-factly as he folded his arms over his chest, looking smugly at a gaping Cartman. 

Stan snorted the juice he was drinking as he laughed out loud. 

Butters tried to hide his giggle as he avoided Cartmans gaze. 

“FUCK YOU KYAHL! And why are you laughing Butters?! I should kick your ass for making me get two days of detention!!” Cartman rattled the table as he shook with anger.

Butters blinked a few times as he looked at Cartman indifferently. Staring directly at him, in a blank stare, he held up his middle finger. 

“AY. WHAT. THE. FACK!! RRAAGGH!”

Stan was practically choking now as he was laughing so hard. “Yeah, fuck you fat ass!” Stan laughed as he held up his middle finger too, followed by an all to eager, Kyle.

“AY!!! ARRGHHH!!” The meltdown Cartman started having shook the tray and table. The inhuman nosies that past out of him made the whole table burst with laughter. 

“Are we making fun of Cartman? Because, I’m so in, if we are.” 

Everyone’s laughter halted as they turned their eyes to look up and see an orange parka that had manifested out of nowhere. 

Butters felt his heart skip as he watched Kenny set his tray across from him. Stan and Kyle began to fill him in on what was going on. Butters eyes lingered on the boy in front of him, as an inexplainable stir of emotions surged at the sight of him. 

“So, we are, making fun of fat ass.” 

Kenny’s laughter filled the table, which made Cartman seethe. Watching as how everyone began talking amongst themselves and making fun of Cartman. It made Butters feel slightly left out as he looked down into his lap. On top of that, the weird feelings that overcome him, ever since Kenny had sat down, were putting him on edge. 

Looking back to the older blonde as everyone chatted idly. There were several emotions tugging inside him equally, yet, he couldn’t comprehend a single one. The strongest was that of an absence being filled into an unexplainable hole. A question was swarming around his head like a fish in a bowl, unable to go anywhere, stuck in an open and closed space.

For some weird reason, I feel like I haven’t seen him in a long time?

“What do you think, Butters?” Stan asked as he shoveled a spoonful of pudding into his mouth. 

Butters stared blankly at his friend and then looked around to see everyones eyes on him. He blushed as he realized he had been staring at Kenny the entire time. Kenny didn’t seem to be bothered by that fact and instead seemed to be.. smiling? Butters couldn't tell, since he wasn’t able to see the lower half of his face. 

“Wh-what?” He panicked as he looked into everyones eyes, “W-what was t-the question?” 

“PFFT!” Cartman, snorted, “Look at this faggot staring at Kenny, what a gay!” Cartman yelled as he laughed through his fat ridded nose. 

“Shut the hell up, fat boy!” Kyle countered back. 

Butters lowered his eyes to his hands again, as the blush that spread across his face was a dead give away. Kyle and Cartman began bickering back and forth, and soon, Stan chimed in about something else Cartman is notorious for doing. Butters watched as his friends joked and laughed, completely leaving him to ponder what they were just previously asking him. 

What was the ques-?

“They wanted to know if you thought fat boy was held together by fat and lard. Instead of muscle and bone, like he thinks he is.” 

Kenny’s voice took over Butters thoughts as he brought up his eyes to look at him. 

Has Kenny been looking at me this entire time, since he found out I was staring?

“O-oh.” Butters blushed, not understanding why he felt this way. He looked at Cartman, as he was throwing his flabby arms in the air to mimic a Marshaller, which Butters assumed were the wand people guiding airplanes. 

Looking back to Kenny, he leaned in closer to him and whispered, “Fat and l-lard, definitely.” 

Kenny burst into laughter at the seriousness of Butters voice, and the complete out of the blueness it had. This took the tiny blonde by surprise, but soon laughed along with him as he leaned back and smiled at the way his friend enjoyed himself. 

Everyone turned their heads to see why Kenny was laughing, and Cartman was the first to interject. 

“Why are you laughing, Kinnee?”

“Fat and lard, fat boy. We all win, you lose.” Kenny laughed harder as Cartman’s face turned inhuman red and screeched at the top of his lungs. 

“SCREW YOU GUYS!!” 

“God, shut up, fat boy! You’re screaming like a banshee. Take your loss and shove it up that fat ass of yours!” Kyle yelled over Cartmans screeching. Which caused Cartman to scream even louder, making him look like he was going to pop a blood vessel. 

Continuously hotheaded and yelling at his friends, he shouted some profanities at everyone and then left the lunch table with an earthquake like departure. 

“Thank. God. Now I can eat my food in peace, without him begging me for it like a dog.” Sighed Kyle in relief. 

Everyone chuckled as they watched Cartman walk away in anger. Witnessing him throw his tray at Thomas, the poor boy with Tourettes. To which Thomas had an outburst calling Cartman a “Fat Ass!” Which made Cartman even more pissed, as he stormed outside. 

Everyone at the table couldn't help but enjoy themselves as they watched the scene unfold. 

Butters laughed along, feeling this happy ambience being around his friends. 

However, it quickly retreated inside him. 

There was still these nagging pulls deep within, as his gaze landed back onto Kenny. He didn’t mean to stare or to look at him in any weird way. He just really had these strange feelings when he did. 

This question that seemed to eat away inside his brain like a parasite. 

The hole inside him, that made him feel like..

“Ken, where have you been?” 

 

Chapter Text

Butters question made everyone fall silent. The atmosphere at the table was so quiet, the only noise that passed was that of the surrounding company. No one moved, nor stirred. Stan and Kyle looked at each other in confusion, and then in between Butters and Kenny. 

“What do you mean, Butters? Kenny’s been here with us, at school?” Kyle said, with an agreeing, half-concerned, Stan. 

Butters didn’t turn to look at them, his eyes were glued to Kenny. He didn’t know what is was, the fact that his question seemed to shock the life out of Kenny, or the atmosphere that drastically changed like a suspicious fog rolling in. Kenny’s eyes were what captivated Butters the most, seeing as they were the only thing he could see on the other. 

They were like two open pools of clear glass, something trying to hide itself, yet undeniably getting seen. Unable to remove his gaze he fidgeting under the intense stare of Kenny’s.

“I’ve been.. sick. Thanks for asking, though, Butters.” Kenny’s words came out clipped. Almost like someone lying in haste, and trying to get to the point of the lie. This left Kyle and Stan to look at each other in shock and confusion. 

“What!? Dude, I could have sworn you’ve been at school this whole time? Why didn’t you tell anyone? I swear, you were at this table yesterday with us!” Stan said, as he nibbled on his plastic fork in confusion. 

“Yeah, weren’t you in math yesterday with us? Or, at all, this week? What about lunch? I thought you were there! But, wow man. I’m sorry I didn’t notice you were gone. I feel like an ass, now.” Kyle apologized, feeling guilty having not known his friend was sick or even bothering to see if he was okay. 

Butters watched as Kenny’s gaze never faltered away from his own as he replied to the two that had just spoken, “It’s okay, how would you know? Next time, I’ll text you.” 

Finding the strength to look away, he tore his gaze from Kenny’s as he felt his heart slamming in his chest. There were emotions swelling inside him that caused his head to go fuzzy, and his stomach to flipflop. 

After giving himself a minute to regain some composure, and willing his breath to come back even, his mind started reversing back to what just happened.

Why did I ask that? Kenny’s been here the whole week, I’m sure of it! Or, no, maybe I’m not?  He said he was sick… Maybe he was? What made me think he was gone in the first place? 

Butters questioned his own feelings as that hole he previously felt seemed to empty itself again; like it was lost to a bottomless pit. He looked back to his friends as they seemed to have completely forgotten the previous conversation and began another one. 

Except Kenny, who seemed to be off in his own world, staring at something far off in the distance that no one could see.

However, Butters mind wouldn't let up, as it raced with so many thoughts. His stomach was churning inside him as hazy images flashed behind his eyes. Like trying to see a movie through a fogged glass, there were moments he could vaguely see, and ultimately felt a familiar feeling of dread, yet, he couldn’t recall the picture. Just, the scarred ghostly feelings on his lost memory. 

He got up suddenly, catching everyone off guard and to his attention. 

“S-sorry, I n-need to go to the b-bathroom.” He mumbled, as he left his belongings and scurried away. 

Kenny stared on after Butters, curiosity traveling as he wondered what just happened. There were so many thoughts going through his own mind; he couldn’t focus on a single one at the moment. He wanted to ask Butters, How? How did he know he wasn’t at school this whole time? How did he see he was gone? 

How did he notice?

Stop giving yourself hope

Kenny frowned as he got up from his seat, and looked at the clock. His curiosity was taking over him, like a match engulfed in flame. The nerve was just to strong to break away from. He needed to know, he wanted to know..

How? 

How?

Looking at the items left behind by Butters he gathered them up and neatly away into his bag, as he slung it over his shoulder.

“Where you going, dude?” Kyle asked skeptical.

“Yeah, and with Butters stuff?” Stan included.

“I’m going to go check on him. Bells going to be ringing soon,” He nodded to the clock on the cafeteria wall, ”I’ll see you dudes later.” Kenny hastily waved bye to them, leaving them questionably looking at each other. 

~~~~~

When Butters had made it to the bathroom, his stomach turned hard in his abdomen, making him heave into the toilet. Coughing up fluid, he leaned back against the stall door. Waiting a few moments, before heading out and wiping a part of his mouth with the back of his hand. He washed his hands, breathing heavily as his body came back to normality. 

“Hey, dude.”

Butters swung around in a panic as he was caught off guard by a concerned looking Kenny, holding his backpack.

“Sorry man, you left in a hurry..” Kenny trailed, looking at Butters with wide eyes seeing the slight dribble on his chin. “Are you alright? I grabbed your stuff cause you ran off so fast. The bell is gonna ring soon.”

Butters gingerly took his things from Kenny, as he wiped his mouth again with the back of his hand. 

“Y-yeah. I just got a s-stomachache. I-I think I a-ate to f-fast, I d-didn’t throw anything up, t-thankfully! It was just..”

“Weird. I know.” Kenny interrupted his thoughts, again, with a shrug, receiving a nod from Butters. “Well, as long as, you’re okay now.” 

Butters smiled as he was happy for this simpleness of his friend checking up on him. 

“I am! T-thanks Ken!” 

Kenny seemed surprised at the happiness that erupted out of Butters, but smiled regardless, as he enjoyed the innocence.

“No problem, man. I’m just glad you’re okay.” Butters nodded vigorously, with that genuine smile he always gives. “Though..” Kenny’s mind trailed as he thought about earlier at the table, wanting to know why Butters asked him that question. He scratched his exposed forehead, as he thought of how to go about it. 

“Hmm?” Butter cocked his head to the side as he looked quizzically at Kenny. 

Kenny sighed as he gathered some courage inside himself to ask. 

“I just wanted to see if you-“

His question was stopped by the sudden ringing of the school bell, bringing both boys to its attention. They both looked at each other and sighed in annoyance as they needed to make way to their next period. Walking out of the bathroom together, chatting about Cartmans earlier outburst and laughing at the outrageousness of it. 

“Hey, Ken, were you going to ask me something?” Butters said, curiosity resting itself on his shoulders. 

Kenny looked at the smaller blonde and opened his mouth. The words played inside his mind as he tried to form them together. How was he suppose to ask him.. How was he suppose to ask him such a terrible question? How does one even bring something like that up?

Kenny groaned as he shook his head in annoyance. 

“It was nothing, Butters. Don’t worry about it.” He smiled at the other. 

Butters thought for a moment, and decided he wanted to push the subject a little further. 

Surely someone just doesn’t come to you in the bathroom, for no reason? Maybe it’s something serious?

“A-are you sure? It s-sounded like it might be i-important. I hope y-you would t-tell me, I promise I’ll l-listen.” Butters smiled widely as he hugged his book to his chest.

Kenny felt himself blush as his heart thumped hard at the smiled the other was giving him. He cleared his throat as his mind raced with a lie he could spit out in a moment. 

“I just wanted to ask you about your birthday?” Kenny slapped his forehead, as he knew that was a stupid question that made, possibly, no sense at all. Butters seemed to be confused for a moment too, as he didn’t say anything at first. 

“W-what a-about my b-birthday?” 

“Is there anything special you want for your birthday?”

These lies are atrocious

Shut up.” Kenny growled quietly to himself. 

“O-oh. Well, I don’t n-need anything r-really. I haven’t given m-much thought about my b-birthday, actually.” Butters sighed as he hugged his books tighter to his chest. Hiding his bottom half of his face, nibbling gently on a textbook. The thought of his birthday always made him quietly uneasy. 

Kenny noticed the change in mood as he watched his smaller friend fidgeting. He was taken aback as it seemed the younger boy deflated from his normal happy attitude. 

Maybe I shouldn’t have brought up his birthday?

“Butters..” The smaller blonde snapped his head up to meet Kenny’s gaze, as a few seconds passed before Kenny could think of something to say. 

“Butters, do you not like your birthday?” 

Butters swallowed, as he sighed, “It’s n-not that I d-don’t like it.. I j-just.. it’s n-not important? I suppose that’s h-how..”

“What? What do you mean it’s not important?” Kenny gasped as he stared gapingly at Butters small frame. 

“O-oh, I just m-mean.. I don’t like to b-burden people with something silly like my b-birthday.” 

“It’s not a burden! How could you say that? Saying it’s not important is like saying you are not important. It’s an important day because it’s the day you became alive! It’s the day you began to exist. It’s a celebration of your existence, to celebrate what you mean to people and how you’ve touched them with that existence. Your birthday isn’t just some silly thing, it’s a wholesome, special time where you, became you. The sweet and caring Butters that we all know. It’s important to us. It’s important to me.” 

Kenny saw as Butters face took on a look of shock, his eyes wide and mouth slightly hanging open. This cause Kenny to cleared his throat again as he didn’t mean to go off like that. Blushing to himself at the words he said now circled the air around them. He watched as the other seemed to think quietly, eyes blinking in rapid thought..

Then Butters began laughing, catching Kenny off guard.

“Sorry I didn’t mean to go off on a tangent like that.” He swallowed hard, as he felt embarrassed.

“N-no,” Butters giggled, “No, it’s n-not that. Thank y-you, Ken. That a-actually makes m-me feel… good. I w-wouldn’t have t-thought of it like t-that. I n-never had..” Butters trailed, as a look of sadness took over his face, “I never h-had anyone put it to m-me like that, or made me feel special. I, just..” Butters eyes watered as his emotions seemed to take over him. His tears fell into the pages of his textbook as he had tried to wipe them away with the back of his hand to no avail. 

Kenny panicked. He didn’t mean to hurt Butters feelings or to make him cry. He was just trying to make him see that he was special and important, especially on his birthday; Everyday, in fact. He just wanted him to know that. If he was ever to disappear, he would be missed..

Greatly

His mind raked with things to do in this situation. Thinking about his sister Karen, and what he would normally do for her if she cried like this. Ideas popped into his mind that made him have an idea of what he could do, but what should he do? 

Kenny opened his mouth as he saw Butters face in severe sadness, “Butters, I am so sorry, I didn’t mean to..” 

Kenny didn’t receive an answer as the petite blonde seemed to be lost in his own feelings. 

Kenny swallowed as a new idea formed into his mind, making him feel slightly on edge on how to go about it. Mentally shaking himself off he gently took the textbook from Butters hands, as he placed in on top of a nearby trashcan. 

This brought Butters back from his entrapping memories as he watched what Kenny seemed to be doing. After having placed his textbook down, the boys seemed to have locked eyes in a small entangled moment between them. 

As Kenny came closer to Butters, his entire being seemed to be extremely aware of the older boys presence surrounding him, engulfing him, like a bubble of something inexplicable. Butters could still feel the tears on his cheeks, they still fell from his eyes, as Kenny now stood not even an arms length away from him. Close enough to see the specks of colors that slumbered in his dark blue eyes, the way his eyelashes lay gently against his lids. The ways his parka covered the major details of his face.

Butters watched as Kenny bent gently over, eyes locked together, timed slowed to an almost standstill atmosphere…

Then just as slow as the world had become, it picked up it’s pace again, as Butters found himself wrapped up in Kenny’s arms. 

Held tightly to his chest as Kenny wrapped his arms under Butters and around his backpack. Pulling him to his chest in a caring embrace. A perfect hug that made Butters heart pick up it’s irregular pace, as it seemed to be doing recently around the older boy. 

Butters thoughts were all over, as they screamed in many different directions. His body had stiffened as he couldn't remember the last time he had been held, or touched by another. 

“It’s okay, Butters. You can cry, I won’t look. Just hold onto me.” Kenny gently said into Butters ear as he nuzzled into the smaller boys body. 

Butters stood taken in complete shock, and then, like a shot that elevates the pain. The rush of emotions came back, his heart felt like it could break, his muscles relaxed, and he could feel those tear tenfold now. Like the weight of the world fell from his eyes, as he couldn't control the sobs that seemed to escape his throat and mouth. He held on tightly to Kenny, as he nuzzled his face into the orange parka of his friend. His body quivered with memories and pain held in from now till.. he couldn’t even remember when, but the scars on his brain were still there.

When was the last time someone held him, and told him it was going to be okay? When was the last time he had a decent conversation? When was the last time he had had a chance to let himself go, forgetting his worries, able to cry some of them out? 

Since when?

Since when?

Since.. now

The first time, in such a long time that Butters couldn’t remember the first time. Maybe this was the first time. In a lonely hallway, with no other students around two boys in a tight embrace. Butters felt his body shaking with the sobs and tedious emotions he’s tried to hide away. The stress and anxiety of his everyday life, to his school, to his memories. 

To it all; to the world. 

Butters cried, and he wasn’t sure how long he cried, he just knew that Kenny held him the entire time. Holding him.. without saying a single word, as he had ran a hand under Butters backpack and was rubbing gentle circles on his back. Squeezing him tighter to him every time he felt a shudder of emotions escape the younger boys body. 

The bell seemed to have rung, but it fell on deaf ears, as both boys ignored it’s persistence. 

Kenny buried his face in that special spot between the neck and shoulder. He sighed in contempt as he could feel his friends sobs slowly calming down. He wasn’t sure how long they were standing there, or how long it took for Butters body to slowly come back to normality. The only thing Kenny could really understand.. was Butters birthday was very a sensitive area and there was a lot about him, he didn’t couldn’t even began to understand. He squeezed Butters tighter when he heard a gasping sound of air escape his lips, after a several seconds it turned into shuddering residue. 

After a few moments of calming silence, Kenny pulled away, looking at the look of sadness on Butters face. It made Kenny’s heart hurt.

It made his heart hurt more than he ever thought it could.

Familiar?

Kenny gritted his teeth as he mentally held himself together, trying his best not to do anything in the moment to harm himself. He sighed, as he searched Butters eyes for more tears, and wiped the small few that fell away with his thumbs.

“I’m sorry Butters, I didn’t mean-“

Butters instantly shook his head, as he sniffled and wiped his cheek with the back of his sleeve, “N-no, K-Ken. You d-didn’t do a-anything, y-you w-were just so k-kind.. I-I don’t k-know what came o-over me..” 

Kenny heaved a big sigh, and hugged his smaller friend back to his chest as he leaned his head against his hair. Mere seconds went by, as they stood in that embrace, before Butters pulled away gently and looked at Kennys parka and gasped.

“O-oh Ken! I’m so sorry! I g-got your p-parka all dirty!” 

Kenny chuckled and shook his head, as he held Butters by the shoulders and looked him in the eyes, “You think I care about that? That’s nothing. You can use my parka again, whenever you need to cry, whenever you feel down.. It’s here for you.”

Butters opened his mouth, as a feeling lite in his belly and heart that made his mind fog in a heatwave. He swallowed hard as his mind tried to break from the haze. He looked away as a blush erupted onto his cheeks, he could feel the flames like a quick match. Instant warmth that overflowed his very being. He felt dizzy and overheated all at the same time. His mind wasn't forming coherent thoughts, but his mouth expressed words before he could comprehend them.

“J-Just y-your p-parka?”

Chapter Text

“What do you mean?” Kenny blinked in confusion.

Butters opened his mouth, the words failing to fall from his lips. What had he met? He felt embarrassed and stricken, all in his own. The previous words of his filling the air like a heavy weight. 

Kenny’s puzzled face titled slightly as he looked in anticipation. To be quite honest; Butters question startled him. What was he getting at? What was he trying to say? Kenny scanned Butters face for some kind of an idea as to what the other meant. 

Interesting

He wanted Butters to come to him. He wanted them to be close, like they used to be. He wanted that honesty, humility, and friendly atmosphere like when they were children. 

In the past few years he has felt like they were strangers in a close approximation. He wanted to know more about his used to be best friend. 

What’s happened? From then to now? Who are they? What goes on in that sunny blonde haired-head, of the smaller boy. 

“I don’t und-”

“You two! Why aren’t you in class?” Both boys snapped their heads as the Vice Principle called to them from down the hall. 

“Are you bullying Mr. Stotch, Mr. McCormick?” She frowned as she began walking over in anger. 

“N-no he w-wasn’t doing a-anything l-like that, Ms.Victoria.” Butters spoke, shocked that she would instantly come to that conclusion. 

She stopped right as she reached the two boys and looked questionably at Kenny. Frowning harder when she saw the tear stained face of Butters. The swollen eyes and puffy cheeks of his; it was obvious the other had been crying, but no apparent marks seemed to litter his face from a scuffle. 

Still, she was skeptical. 

“Then why are you crying, Mr. Stotch?” She folded her arms and tapped her foot.

“S-Shucks, Kenny w-was j-just being a-awfully kind, is all, a-and I got e-emotional.” 

The Vice Principle looked towards Kenny as she raised an eyebrow.

He wiggled his eyebrows at her and winked, smirking as she gasped and put a hand to her chest. Appalled, to say the least. 

You grossed her out

“After school detention, McCormick! NOW GET TO CLASS.” Hissing as she turned her back towards the boys and began walking away.

“Awh, do I have to? You know Cartman’s going to be there!” Kenny called after her, snickering quietly as she halted, “Is it wise putting us in detention together?” He faked like he was lost in thought, having put a hand to his chin and gazed toward the sky. “Imagine. Your two biggest delinquents in the whole school, together in a classroom, with one teacher at their disposal? You know how that always ends.” He stared after her, waiting for his words to sink in, and with the strenuous atmosphere already tensive, he threw in a snide last comment, “Hmm, I wonder.. is that decision best on your part, Mrs.Victoria?”

She turned so fast on her heels that Butters could almost smell the rubber burning. Without moving from her position, one hand on her hip and the other pointing at Kenny she spoke.

“So, you think you’re smart, Kenneth McCormick? You think that just because I know you, oh so well, that I don’t know how to handle that snarky little attitude of yours? I’ve known you since you were five years old! I’ve seen you grow into this,” she gestured at Kenny’s body with one hand, a sneer on her normally pierce face,” and guess what? You, are not as smart as you think. You, are still a child.” Kenny flinched as he narrowed his eyes at her. Butters took notice as he had never seen a face like this pass onto the normally cheerful one. “And now, you, have after school detention.” 

Kenny opened his mouth to say something else, but she held up her hand to stop him, “Now, before you try to come at me with that fiery person of yours,” Kenny clenched his mouth shut, “Your detention is with me.” She smiled as she saw the blood drain from his face. “You will help me with my school errands, and organize some events with me. Maybe, we’ll even do some campus labor work with Mr. Bennett. Well, I should say you will be doing some campus labor work.” She smirked as Kenny rolled his eyes in annoyance. “You do know who Mr. Bennett is? Right, Kenneth?” She smiled, as he ground his teeth and nodded. “Good. You will be doing janitorial duties with him, as well as, all the faculty bathrooms. And I’ll be right there. The. Entire. Time.” 

Butters looked between them, as the hostility seemed to smother the air around them. His body was immersed in the situation, but his mind was racing with thoughts that flashed rapidly in front of his eyes. He didn’t understand the tension that surrounded the air, or the fact that they both seemed to have some ill mannered aggression towards each other. It really wasn’t his place to ask and just being in the vicinity.. it was almost like he didn’t exist at all. He shook his head as he stared at the Vice Principal in disagreement. 

“You have something to add, Mr. Stotch?” She raised an eyebrow at him, and tapped her foot. 

Butters was taken aback as he went to say something, Kenny immediately interjected.

“So, you want me all to yourself?” Kenny grinned as he watched her roll her eyes, “If that’s what you wanted you could have just said so, instead of these useless insults, Mrs. Victoria.” He waved his hand to the sky, as if to cast off the last few comments that were made and chuckled, as she fumed, “You said you’ve watched me grow from a child… but that’s it. You’ve watched. In no way were you involved, except for ceaselessly blaming rule breaking on me. I know you don’t like me. Think, I’m a bad influence. Think, I shouldn’t keep coming to school. When in actuality, you don’t know what’s going on, or for what reasons. You DON’T know who I am, you see what you want. You don’t get to stand there and lecture me when I was doing something nice for my best friend.” 

Immediately Butters snapped to look at Kenny. Emotions were whirling around in his eyes that Butters couldn’t seem to properly trace. It seemed to be hatred and sadness tightly knitted together in such a small space, that it looked as if they could break apart at any moment. Instinctually, Butters put a hand to Kenny’s forearm. Wondering.. if all those emotions, he would get to discover one day. Feeling his heart fluttering inside his chest as he hadn’t heard Kenny call him his best friend in years. 

Kenny turned to face Butters and smiled, the intense glare that he was previously giving to the Vice Principal had all but vanished in time as he looked to Butters. The way his face softened the second he looked at the smaller blonde made Butters swallow hard. His heart swelled and just before he could put words in, there was a snicker. 

They turned again, as they had before, back to Mrs. Victoria in annoyance. 

“You have taken enough of my patience, and enough of your class time. Wasting it on these measly interactions. You will have detention with me, and under no circumstance, does this mean I wish to be alone with you. Understand? I am simply doing this because you happen to be right about one thing. You and Mr. Cartman? One place? At the same time for longer than thirty minutes? That’s a ticking time bomb set for random! No one knows when it will go off, but they’ll all sit in anticipation until everything hits the fan. I’m done with this small quarrel. I understand, I am no parent to you. I am not even a person of substance to you. I am, however, a confidant, someone to come to, in the darkest of days, when life is shrouded in thorns, and pain. I understand. I do, McCormick. That is why, you will only have one day of detention; today with me, and you will be free to go afterwards. Don’t make it a habit. I will not be so lenient the next time I have to deal with something like this. No. More. Flirtatious interactions. Or I WILL suspend you. Understood?”

Kenny didn’t say anything, he simply stared, and nodded. His thoughts and words weren’t going to get him anywhere at this point. He dug a hole, but thankfully, he didn’t bury himself. He would take what he could get, and even if it means cleaning the shit off the toilets from these crusty teachers asses, he was going to do it. Thankful, that he had gotten this intimate moment with Butters, as small as it was. Though, wishing it would last longer.

Grateful to say the least.

You’d think she would have already expelled you

Mrs. Victoria huffed and nodded in agreement, told them to head to class, and exited stage left.

Kenny, being the person he was, doesn’t take kindly to commands, and grabbed Butters hand, and then his textbook from the trashcan. 

Quickly he dragged Butters with him down the hall, the same direction as the Vice Principal. Making a hard right, instead of a left, and busted through the doors and out into the open air. 

Butters was extremely confused, as his class was in the building, and holding Kenny’s hand was making him nervous. Still, he let the sandy blonde boy drag him through the school, ducking and hiding behind whatever they could find. Curiosity and anxiety mixed themselves together inside Butters like a tornado of mischief. He felt bad, but good? Good to be bad? Though, his anxiety made him want to stop and turn tail; running back to the safety of his class. However, curiosity held onto him like a prisoner to his own peaked interest. 

They continued to run like a mystery couple in escape from confinement. Still, Butters wanted to know, his interest coming to light, braving him to ask..

“K-Ken, where a-are you taking m-me?” Butters blinked a few times, as they were hiding behind a huge tree in the courtyard of the school. Feeling his eyes trail to the hand covering his, made his body hot. The feel of sweaty palms together made feelings inside his teenage body come to the surface; like a shark for prey. 

He understood little about the feeling, but knew he needed to stop the compact space as soon as he could. He looked up to see the windows of the buildings all surrounding the courtyard, like looming towers in the night. He could almost feel every student, from every class, have their eyes on him. Like he was a show pony. Feeling a panic attack coming on he squeezed harder to Kenny’s hand as he tried to slow his breathing. 

Kenny noticed, “Don’t worry, I’m taking you somewhere fun.” He winked at Butters, and gently squeezed his hand back. “Also, I promise not to do anything weird. Cause, I took Clyde one time and he miiiiiiight have thought I was trying to come on to him. I dunno, you’re gonna have to ask him.” Kenny shrugged, ducking his head when he saw Mr. Mackey walking through an exposed hall.

Butters laughed, this eased his worries a bit and made him loosen his grip. Kenny didn’t seem to though. 

Having found a free spot to enter the open hallway, Kenny nodded to Butters and sprinted to the doors and down the hallway faster than Butters could keep up. Pulling the smaller blonde along with him as he grabbed a new set of doors with his hand, and threw them open. Barreling through as he bolted down the hallway, his tiny friend in tow. Kenny reached a door that he yanked open with a grunt and pushed Butters in first. Making sure no one was in sight he step in afterwards. 

Butters blinked into the new darkness, as his body was still under a slight new feeling and remnants of his panic attack kept circling inside him. Not only was he ditching class, but they met with the Vice Principal. What if she told his parents? What if they grounded him even more? What more would his father do? Why was he doing this? Letting himself be dragged around? Wasn’t he going to get in trouble? Oh God.. what if he got in even more trouble with his father?

“Butters?” Kenny’s eyes adjusted to the darkness like a midnight owl. He reached for the string to turn on the light. When the light illuminated the surrounding area, both boys realized they were inched apart from each other. The first person to jump back in surprise was Butters. Kenny tilted his head slightly, as he watched Butters eyes widen. “I’m sorry Butters, I just had to find the light switch. I didn’t know we were so close. I’m not trying to creepily keep you in the dark with me. I’m not that much of a perv.” He chuckled as he could see Butters regain some composure. 

“No. It’s n-not that, K-Ken…” Butters trailed, the fears inside him rising to the surface, blood colder than the snow that surrounded them outside,”W-what if s-someone s-saw? W-what if t-the Vice P-principal calls my p-parents? Or a-asks the t-teachers w-why I’m n-not in class? W-what if I c-can’t come to this s-school, anymore? W-what if I can’t s-see my f-friends?” By this time Butters began to get teary eyed, and gasped through his hysterical rambling. “What if.. W-what if I can’t s-see you a-anymore?” Butters tears fell fully now.

“Whoa, whoa Butters!” Kenny wrapped an arm around his friends shoulders as he hugged him closely to his chest. “I doubt she will call your parents. What is this? A prison system? She will probably do what she always does, and sit on her fat ass. I promise. The teachers wont do anything either. I promise you that. I don’t understand.. are you leaving school?”

“N-no.. b-but..”

Kenny sighed, as a strange relief ignited in him. “Then don’t stress so much, I won’t let anything happen to you, I won’t even let your teacher find out. I doubt my teacher will even know I’m gone.” He laughed as he squeezed Butters tighter to him. “Plus, I didn’t get to show you, yet!” He let his arm slip gingerly as it traced across Butters back, leaving the smaller boy to tingle at the feeling, and then pulled him along with him. “Common, this isn’t even where I wanted us to go. It’s just the stepping stone to getting there.” He shifted his hand back into Butters, as he made his way through the small closet and pushed a frame on the back part of the wall. There was a door that immediately opened causing Butters to get startled.

Kenny laughed as he watched his friend see the frame move from it’s original spot and open to a set of stairs. 

“Back in the eighteen-eighties this school used to be an orphanage..” Kenny explained as they ascended the stairs, “ When it was the orphanage it was also a school. They would have one specific child ring a bell for all the children of the school to hear. When they would wake, they would gather into that courtyard we were just in. They would get dressed, tidy up, and hurry to the courtyard like their lives depended on it. It was the around the time when Colorado had just been declared a state. The children were confused about the new situation, but that never stopped the bellringer from ringing the bell every morning for role call and breakfast.” 

Butters listened as he seemed to be infatuated with the history of his school, wanting to learn more. Though, as soon as he opened his mouth to say something he found himself running into a stopped Kenny.

“A-awh, j-jeez.” Butters said as he rubbed his nose with his free hand. Trying to see why they stopped as he sniffled the boogies that threatened to run from his nose. 

“Heh, I’m sorry I should have warned you, man.” Kenny chuckled as he looked to Butters, “This is where they tried to seal off the bell tower in the nineteen sixties, after decades of the bellringers. They holed it off with these wooded planks; I’m not sure if you can see?”

Kenny moved slightly as he adjusted himself away from what was in front of him. Butters looked up past Kenny to see an organization of wooden planks that seemed to be bolted to the concrete around them. The sun shone through the cracks of the planks like light through a kaleidoscope. Every which way the lights manifested themselves, sparkling into the darkness of the narrow pathway of the stair case illuminating the stairs and.. Kenny’s form. 

Butters swallowed as he looked at Kenny who chuckled and let go of his hand. This made Butters feel very alone for a fraction of a second until he saw what the other was doing. 

With all his strength he seemed to be ripping those planks from their slumber and opening up the outside world. Butters gasped into the light as if he’d never seen the day before.

The sun seemed to be brighter than he had ever seen. The brightness of the day intensified by the majesty of the surrounding dark. Kenny pushed the planks off to the side, and pulled himself up the narrow passage, reaching a hand down to help his friend up. Butters eyed the hand, and gently slipped his into it. His body shivered a bit as his eyes landed to Kenny’s, the tingling in his fingers and the ghost of Kenny’s feelings on his back, seemed to be enhanced as he stared into his eyes. He swallowed, never losing contact, as Kenny.. smiled? 

It’s beautiful, Butters thought. 

Hoisting Butters up with one arm and through the narrow passage, he laughed as the smaller boy fumbled and almost fell. With his other hand firmly to the square of Butters back, pulling him flush against his body as he tried to steady him. 

Kenny grinned as he ask, “You good, man?”

Butters whole body immediately went hot, like he was light on fire from the inside. He swiftly moved away and nodded, “I-I’m g-good, I guess I’m just shaky.”

“Well, you’re not gonna want to be shaky up here. It’s dangerous to loose your footing, but..” Kenny trailed as he watched Butters shiver, “you got me, so you’ll be fine.” He winked as he saw the blush erupt on his friends face. 

Butters gulped as he looked away to the scenery, gasping into the open aired majesty as his eyes landed on the beautiful sight. The tower narrowed upwards into a dome like shape, as the wind and cultivation coated the pillars, ceiling and walls with creeping plants. The wind whistled through the arches of the caverned tower. Blowing through the vines and flowers that shrouded the arches in greenery. Flowers sprouted in several places that made him wonder how they’ve survived the loneliness of this alluring sight. 

The bell was several steps in front of them. Worn, used, broken, and crackling with vines. The entire bell was overgrown with forestry. Flowers sprouted from every which way, as the vines and moss cradled the bell like a child. It was well used, and extremely old. 

He stepped towards it.

As if it called to him like it knew his name. Like it needed him, wanting him, craving him..

“Strange, isn’t it?” Kenny casually interrupted his thoughts, snapping Butters out of his trance and looked to him. 

“Hmm?” He cocked his head in confusion as he looked to the other boy. 

“The way it makes you feel, it’s strange.” Kenny eyed Butters up and down, and nodded. “How does it make you feel, Butters?” 

Butters blinked, as if the words Kenny spoke were straight out of his mind. He furrowed his brow as he thought about it, looking back to the bell and then back to his friend, wondering how he knew the weird feelings inside him. 

“It m-makes me f-feel.. like, it’s c-calling to m-me like, i-it’s lonely.”

Kenny sighed, as he nodded. Walking away from the place they just emerged from to head over to the bell. He placed a hand to it, as he rubbed the hard cold exterior in a tender way. 

Butters stood, as he watched his friend. Fascinated with the way he looked at such a strange object. He watched Kenny’s hand trace the fine detailed lines of the exposed skin that was not covered in vines and moss. Seeing his hand caress the cold solid curves like that of a sensitive body. Fingertips grazing just softly enough, that if it was a person, the goosebumps to the flesh would be visible from even where Butters was standing. 

Butters felt himself suck in and hold his breath, as a feeling of jealousy hit him like a swinging log. He hadn’t experienced such an intense emotion before now, and wondered if his feelings were misplaced. He mentally shook himself as he walked over to where Kenny was standing and placed a hand besides his on the bell. 

Kenny looked over at their hands just inches apart, his heart fluttering as he watched Butters gently place his ear to the exposed part of the bell. Closing his eyes as he listened to the wind rise up and swirl around the inside. Bouncing off the walls, only to find no way out, and exit right back the way it came. 

“It even sounds a-amazing when it’s q-quiet.” Butters said as he listened to the silent music that the heavy ton metal made. 

Kenny stared at the closed eyes of his friends, scanning his face, remembering the details and features. How pretty the skin was, and how soft it seemed to look. The way Butters hair illuminated his skin like sunshine on the ocean. Kenny looked away immediately when Butters opened his eyes. 

“I w-wonder how l-loud it m-must h-have sounded.. to w-wake a whole s-school.”

“Like an owl in the quiet of the night, or a siren in the silence. Loud, and assertive.” Kenny shrugged as he saw Butters look at him fascinated. 

“Why d-did they b-block off the t-tower? Why d-don’t they use the b-bell anymore?”

“I’m not sure,” Kenny plopped himself down on an edge of an arch and leaned a shoulder against the hard marble, “Maybe, because they have all the normal timed school bells now, and the proper electricity. No one needs this bell, it’s become obsolete; Useless. It’s already done it’s duty.. it’s historic. Everything else around it will die, and wither, but it will always remain here.. staying the same day ofter day.. remembering what it used to be. Constantly living in the past, yet, never being able to be apart of the present, or the future. Dying every night on the inside as it sits in it’s lonely shell of existence.” Kenny’s mind wondered as his words flowed out of him without his conscious to follow. 

You would say that, Kenneth

Butters noticed as Kenny’s eyes glossed over in thought, and pain seemed to roll itself heavily in his mind. He could see the thoughts were painstaking and possibly scary. He walked over as he placed a hand to Kenny’s hair, and ran it gently through it. 

Kenny’s mind shot back instantly as he felt the gesture warm him greatly. The feeling of caress through his rattled mind made him feel something he hadn’t felt in a very long time. He sighed as he smiled into the affection. Letting Butters run his fingers ever so peacefully over his scalp and massage the negative thoughts away. 

“I-I remember y-you used to h-have me do this w-when we were l-little. You s-said it h-helped y-you forget the b-bad things.. I just t-thought-“ Butters began to retract his hand, as he knew what he was doing was probably not wanted. He tried to pull it away as fast as he could, the uneasiness of his own mind throwing shade at him for not doing the right thing. 

Before he could pull his hand out of those tangled locks he was stopped by Kenny grabbing his wrist, and holding his hand in place. 

“I still need the help…” Kenny didn’t look up as he whispered his last words, which echoed in the quiet of the atmosphere, “Please, don’t stop, Butters.”